So, when I did that list of songs I played the most in my set, there were a bunch of other really good songs left behind because they couldn’t quite match my DJ set or please my musically retarded audience. Hence, here is a list of songs released in 2008 based on their videos instead of their spinnability. Anyway, long introductions aren’t read by anybody so let’s go straight to the point, actually to the eleven points.
1) “El Niño” by Mustafá Yoda
Back in the day people used to say that Mustafá was the best freestyle rapper in Argentina and I thought well, I gotta meet this guy. So I did and I was the first journalist to interview him and his crew La Organización. In my article I bluntly stated that these guys -who didn’t even have a one-song demo- were the best thing that could happen to the then-agonizing local hip-hop scene and of course that ended up bad because all the other rappers got jealous and called me names and basically wanted to shove the Obelisco up my ass. The thing is La Organización never got the chance to actually materialize my prophecy and prove they were the best, because they broke up before releasing an album. Mustafá became a solo artist and the rest became Koxmoz. With this first single of his second solo album Mustafá helped Argentinean hip-hop reach it’s adult age, specially thanks to the amazing video that’s definitely the best video an Argentinean hip-hop has artist ever done and it’s by far the one I’ve seen the most times during 2008.
2) “A Veces” by Anita Tijoux
I fell in love with Anita the first time I heard a bootlegged cassette with her voice rhyming in French during an underground concert in Chile that a Chilean reader once sent to my magazine way before Makiza became the best thing to ever happen to Latin American hip-hop (wow that happened ten years ago already!). She has been my muse ever since. This is the third single (I didn’t cared much for the second because of her guest) from her solo debut and it’s my favorite track from that album because it reminds me of that introspective Anita I first fell for during the Makiza days.
3) “Volumen Xero” by Koxmoz
You see, three videos so far and all of them are South American hip-hop, I guess one can’t escape their roots. This one has also some personal feelings involved and forgive me for getting so nostalgic and sentimental. I love Koxmoz like if they were my sons because in many ways they are my sons, after all I paid for and released their first album myself (buy it here bitches) and I hooked them up with Gotan Project for that amazing song that was in everybody’s top ten a couple of years ago. Plus, they are my close friends. So I can’t by objective on this one. The only reason this video is not on top of the list is because it came out two years too late and by then I was already sick of listening to the same song again and again; and also because it’s one of the songs I like the least in that awesome record.
4) “Bruja” by Orishas
Orishas can’t rhyme shit compared to the three people I mentioned before, but they are way more successful because they mix it with salsa, thus making their rap easy to swallow by non-rap-listeners. But Orishas has usually some pretty amazing videos and this one here has to be their best ever because of the obvious references to Russ Meyer’s masterpiece Faster Pussy Cat Kill Kill. I mean, yeah, Babasónicos already did a tribute to Tura Satana many years before and quoting Russ Meyer on a music video is not an amazingly original idea (see: The Pipettes “Pull Shapes” where they trace frame by frame the classic scene from Beyond The Valley of the Dolls) but who can resist this Rossy de Palma? Even if the rap is primitive, you can’t just stop watching this video.
5) “Renacer” by Seo2
Well I guess if I’m gonna include two videos by two former-La Organización, I might as well go ahead and include two videos by two former-Makiza. After all, those are two of the best hip-hop crews of the southern cone and nobody really listens to them in the northern hemisphere, which I find so unfair. Anyway, I never cared much for the post-Makiza work by Seo2 but this video shot in Buenos Aires is pretty damn good. There you have me being nostalgic again. What the fuck is wrong with me these days dude? I don’t recognize myself!
6) “Politik Kills” by Manu Chao
His last album was so weak that the EP of remixes of this one song was way better than the whole Radiolina whatever. And this song wasn’t even really new because he already sang the same lyrics in Amadou & Mariam’s Dimanche A Bamako. However, the video is pretty good when you play it on a loop without sound on the projector while you are throwing a party. People think you are so socially conscious.
7) “Pa Bailar” by Bajofondo (no embedded video available for this one)
I remember when I reviewed Bajofondo’s second album for the top ten of 2007 and I said I was relieved that this album included collaborations with everybody EXCEPT Julieta Venegas, because you know, Julieta Venegas happens to be guest vocalist in every other album of the past couple of years and honestly, I’m sick of her already. Like if she was the only female singer out there. She’s not the best. She’s hasn’t got the nicest voice. She’s not particularly good looking. So why the fuck does everybody have to invite Julieta Venegas to their albums? Whatever happened to Ely? I don’t get it! The thing is I loved Bajofondo’s “Pa Bailar” in their original Julieta-free version. Why did they have to mess it up adding her voice on top of a well-finished song? I guess I should invite Julieta to guest write on my blog sometime and see what the whole mystery is about. Maybe she gives free head to her hosts...
8) “Pijamas” by Babasónicos (blame the fuckers of Universal for the lack of embedded video)
There’s way too much surrealistic weird shit on this video. Even a furry bunny with a growing-pixelated-hard-on. We get it, you are weird, you do drugs, what’s next?
9) “S.E.X.Y. R.O.B.O.T.” by The Pinker Tones
The song might not be as catchy as the amazing “Sonido Total” and no video will ever be better than “Karma Hunters” but I still have love for this Barcelona guys, even if they crossed over to the gringo-hipster crowd and they have a song in the soundtrack of a teen rom-com. They are still the best thing to come out from Spain since paella.
10) “Katia, Tania, Paulina y La Kim” by Mexican Institute of Sound
When you are the wackiest rapper to ever grab a microphone in the whole continent and you still insist on rapping on your record, you better not take yourself too seriously. This guy knows he sucks, he has no skills, no wordplay, no swagger, no nothing. He’s like that weirdo compulsive-masturbator-nerd from your elementary school class that you all used to make fun of while he tried in vain to bust a move at the dance parties. He was very well aware that you and your buddies where making fun of him when you encouraged him to dance in the middle of the circle but he didn’t care and he still danced. He was having fun. He wasn’t taking himself seriously. Now that dude’s the A&R of some major record label and he scores way more pussy than you and me and all our buddies put together and we all wish we had his job. So he can very well go and rap all he wants with his wacky no-flow and we can keep on making fun of him. But at the end of the day, he wins and we are the losers.
11) “Las Cosas Que Dejé” by Zambayonni
This one has no official video so it goes like a bonus track in the eleventh position but it is by far the video I’ve seen to most during 2008. Way more times than Mustafá’s “El Niño”. For about two months I used to wake up, bring my laptop next to my pillow and watch this two or three times before getting up to go to work. It’s pure genius.